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MacBreak Weekly 390
Show Tease: Leo Laporte: It’s time for Mac Break Weekly. We’ve got a big panel, we’re going to talk about the latest news from Apple: rumors about an Apple TV, where’s the Mac Mini, and a whole lot more. You stay tuned – Mac Break Weekly is next.
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Leo: This is Mac Break Weekly. Episode 390. Recorded February 18, 2014.
Rip, Mix and Burn
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Leo: It’s time for MacBreak Weekly, the show that covers Apple and all the Apple stories out there, all five of them. And right now we have more people on the panel than there are Apple news stories this week, so that’s going to make it really exciting. I’m going to start all the way on my left, Mr. Andy Ihnatko, from the Chicago Sun times, in chilly New England. Hello Andy.
Andy Ihnatko: Thank you Leo. Snow continues to harass citizens in the NE and all the way down to the Eastern corridor. As supplies of road salt continue to deplete, roads become treacherous. We go to Alex Lindsay with a live report.
Leo: Let me ask you, do you and your ilk – people in your area - when they watch CNN and it says “Millions Threatened by Killer Storm”, does that send terror to your heart?
Andy: It doesn’t have the same impact it might have had a couple months ago. Because they say it every week now! At this point, any part of the roof that would have collapsed has collapsed, and any children that would have gotten lost in the snow and died, have already died. Really? At this point, it’s like make sure there’s marshmallows on hand, make s’mores and go sit it out.
Leo: I saw somebody build a Jabba the Hut snowman on their front lawn. That’s how much – if you have enough snow to build a Jabba the Hut snowman, you’ve got a lot of snow. Anyway, welcome, it’s good to have you from the frozen east. Uh, from the frozen isle of Great Britain, we have Mr. Don McAllister, ScreenCastsOnline. Hi, Don.
Don McAllister: Hi Leo. We’re not so much frozen as flooded at the moment.
Leo: Oh no!
Don: Copious amounts of water, especially down south. Yeah the worst flooding for years, it’s pretty bad down there.
Leo: Is that because of a lot of rain, or what?
Don: We’ve had a lot of rain, partly due to not dredging rivers properly, it’s just a complete mess down there, lots of flooding, lots of people flooded out of their homes and businesses ruined and it’s horrible.
Leo: If I remember from Herman’s hermits, the river is the Mersey River.
Don: The one in the Liverpool is the Mersey River.
Leo: Oh, Mersey
Don: It’s round Somerset, round the southern region, really suffering. Up here in the north, we’re not too bad. We’ve managed to escape most of it.
Leo: Awesome. It’s great to have you. Welcome.
Don: Good to be back. Thanks for inviting me.
Leo: Now, moving on, we’re going to Washington DC, where our correspondent is sitting on the roof overlooking the White House. Alex Lindsay from the Pixel Corps. Hi Alex.
Alex Lindsay: Yes Leo, we’re going to figure out exactly the Mac usage here at the White House.
Don: Alex actually looks better there than he does when he’s in studio sitting next to me.
Alex: I have dedicated lighting.
Leo: And you’re being shot with a 4K camera!
Don: It’s not a 4k camera, but it is a very high end. This is one of the Sony F950s that we picked up after Star Wars got finished.
Leo: This is the camera.
Andy: Alex, could I say it’s absolutely sickening because I watch local news and our anchor people don’t look as good in their studio as you do right now. That’s sickening.
Leo: Guess he’s being shot with the Star Wars camera. Unbelievable!
Don: Well you know, it’s lying around, I figure we might as well use it. I was in DC for meetings and it was like, “Well, we’ve got a research studio, why not use it?”
Leo: That’s how far that camera has fallen, ladies and gentlemen. It’s now being used on a podcast!
Don: Hey, that’s what I bought it for.
Leo: If George Lucas knew, oooh.
Don: That was the first podcast ever in 1080p, was out of this camera.
Leo: In fact this is the original MacBreak camera.
Don: Yes, the original.
Don: And it was used very heavily for a solid six or seven years.
Don: and it’s still working.
Leo: You ain’t seen nothin’ until you’ve seen Sal Soghoian doing Apple script on the 4K.
Andy: Every detail in the place is Crystal clear.
Alex: We haven’t done a pretty MacBreak.
Leo: 3D Soghoian would be good.
Alex: I’ll call Sal.
Leo: Yeah, he would go for that. Sal would definitely. He’s one of the most three-dimensional people I know.
Alex: Okay okay, that’s a plan. That’s a challenge.
Leo: Everything about Sal says there’s stuff in front of me and behind me.
Alex: What we should do is 3D in 4K.
Leo: Oooh, oh, oooh. Yeah, finally, we’re still introducing the panel, ladies and gentlemen, an hour into the show! Finally, Rene Ritchie, also from the frozen North - north of the49th parallel, from Montreal, Canada, of iMore.com. Hi Rene.
Rene Ritchie: Hi, Leo. It’s so cold up here, I won’t even mention the temperature anymore.
Leo: We don’t care.
Rene: I’m really sorry I left the back door open, though, and froze Andy. That was my bad.
Leo: Well anyway, great to have all of you. News just coming out, that Apple has released OS X update 10.9.2; some hope that maybe Mavericks - some of the really nasty bugs in Mavericks - will be fixed. In fact, Apple is telling developers on this release, “Focus on mail messages and VPN.” Mail has been just really horrific in Mavericks. According to Mark Gurman, writing for 9to5mac, “the increase in beta release frequency indicates that a public watch is quickly approaching. 10.9.2 will also bring FaceTime Audio to the Mac, along with contact blocking”, which I’ve needed for some time. And you know who you are. Any word, Rene, from your sources about Build 13C62?
Rene: No, they’re still sending it to the developers. The mail stuff is still mostly Gmail-related. I don’t know if the VPN stuff is their workaround for all those Vitimex, Vertimex?, patents.
Leo: Oh, it’s a patent fix?
Rene: They have to do everything through relay servers now, because they keep losing those patent cases to Vertamex, some evil v-named company.
Leo: Shocking, I buried the lead! Our number one story, Apple promotes Young Smith to run Human Resources. You know, people, I get email all the time. “You don’t talk enough about Apple’s executive team.” Denise Young Smith will lead human resources, coming with experience in the retail division, as the iPhone maker - that’s what Bloomberg is now call Apple, the iPhone-maker - seeks to attract and retain top talent. Smith is replacing Joel Podolney, who will focus full time on Apple University. Smith is the latest woman to join Apple’s top ranks, adding to Katie Cotton who’s been VP of Communications for some time and Angela Ahrendts, who has I don’t think yet joined the team. She is coming as the CEO of Burberry, to lead retail operations. And now you know why I didn’t lead with this story.
Andy: That’s a very strong hire. I’m sort of familiar with some of the recruitment of this, and I’m told that when she does an employee video of proper use of break room appliances, everybody understands that you’re not supposed to use microwave popcorn in the microwave. So I mean, it’s these little touches - it’s so Apple. You don’t really build the whole thing. You pay attention to every component of the larger machine you’re making.
Leo: Actually, we jest, but the former head of HR was the former dean of the Yale School of Management. Steve Jobs brought him in in 2008.
Rene: It’s kind of HR the way Phil Schiller is marketing, though. I mean, the titles at Apple don’t mean what they mean at any normal company.
Leo: That’s right. I mean the reason HR is important is that’s who does recruit – we’re not talking about a break room management. This is the person who does the recruitment.
Andy: I have to say that source did speak under the condition of anonymity, so. Was not willing to put her full force, I’m sorry did I say her.
Leo: Uh-oh. Denise does the best videos. So, actually, it does seem like Tim Cook is beefing up his management team. He’s adding people who weren’t there before. Bloomberg Reports, of course, reminds us that CTO Kevin Lynch was just hired, Paul Deneve (who was just fired from Yves St. Laurent), Pete Distad from Hulu. So the team is getting bigger, and that makes sense. Tim Cook is the kind of guy, seems to me the kind of guy, who does not lead alone at the top, like Steve did, but in fact leads by consensus. The big cabinet. Former marketing executive Bob Borchers says, “Steve was never big on performance metrics or succession plannings or those kinds of things.”
Andy: He led with the guts.
Leo: Yeah. Podolney, the former HR person, actually created Apple University, which is the manager training program. He’s going to continue to lead that. But that’s what the HR person, stuff like that, this was manager training, that kind of thing. So I think part of this is the focus on Apple DNA and preserving it. One of the courses at Apple University was called “What makes Apple, Apple”. And so, they’re really trying to transfer the DNA. The other part of this job, which I think becomes more and more important, is training managers what NOT to do, to avoid future lawsuits.
Rene: They have two inter-related problems. One is that they’re getting so many people now that they can’t do the old mentoring relationship where you were the new guy on the team and the team taught you everything to do. Now there are a couple senior people and a whole bunch of new people and that means you have to teach more like a university. At the same time, retention is still probably their biggest problem, because the turnover rate it’s not huge, but it’s consistent. And replacing a lot of those senior engineers is not easy, even if some of them do go out and come back. Startups are incredibly attractive in the valley right now and keeping those people around is getting harder and harder.
Andy: Also, as Apple continues to acquire more companies and they’re bringing more people on staff, not just people who are out of college who have had sort of basic careers. We are talking about people who are all-stars from entire industries, so I’m guessing that – I don’t think that they’d hire anybody who would introduce any amount friction, but I think that sort of indicates why you need a real all-star in your HR department as well.
Leo: Yeah, and I think the other point is Tim cook is more collegial and unlike Steve Jobs, he wants a team around him that can support him.
You know, I mentioned before, I read the Brad Stone book about Amazon, “The Everything Store”, and they talk about the publisher’s lawsuit. Of course, Amazon had the wholesale model, the more traditional model of buying. They pay the wholesale price, usually half the cover price, and then set a price in the Amazon store. That upset publishers, because often the price was lower than cost. Amazon could afford to do that, but that really put pressure on other channels. But one of the things they talk about in this book was when Steve Jobs came along setting up iBooks, going to the publishers saying “We’re going to do something you’d prefer, which is the agency model. You set the price; we take 30% just as we do in music.” Apparently the government’s lawsuit against Apple, which is finally wrapping up, this is the one that put the government monitor in Apple to ensure compliance, because Apple did lose this lawsuit. All the publishers settled, but Apple fought and lost. This lawsuit from the DOJ came from kind of statements Jobs made in the Isaacson biography. Things that basically opened, exposed the company to lawsuit, saying “We’ll show Amazon, we’ll put them out of business”, kind of stuff, revealing that really the intent of the agency model was to, in fact, undermine Amazon. The publishers loved that. You can’t say that kind of stuff in public, because it’s, well, I guess it’s collusion. So I think maybe this was how Steve ran things. It was Steve’s ship and he said what he wanted to say. Like “We’re going to annihilate Android”, you know. These things were perhaps not politic, in fact perhaps even legally suspect.
Alex: I think that a lot of those lightening rod founders, they’re that kind of personality. It’s what got them there. So I think that that is oftentimes almost a requirement of creating enough energy to push something out and oftentimes that’s not the best way to manage the company over a long period of time which I think that Tim Cook is set up for. But, the question is whether you’ll still get the exciting products and the excitement in the company that you had before. You have to either have that excitement or really manage it well so that people really feel like they want to be there.
Rene: The iBooks thing is a perfect example, too, because Steve Jobs had “no iBooks, no iBooks, no iBooks”, then called his team together and said “I’ve decide to go iBooks. You have a couple months until the iPad is in. Go!” So, it’s not a planned thing and so it’s incredibly reactive, and you get statements like that, and under Tim cook, that is probably not going to happen. That would probably be a much better plan going up to the event. And to Alex’s point, you don’t get the same highs, but you don’t get the same lows as well, so you get a more normalized Apple.
Leo: That is the challenge for Tim Cook, though, is to keep that creative genius, that spark alive, while building in a more traditional structure.
Alex: Well. And I think that some of the question, though, is also whether you need that at that point, as well. What I mean by that is to get to where Apple is now, to get to that incredible growth, you definitely needed that spark, and we definitely want to continue to see things coming out of Apple that are exciting, but I think the other part of that is also being able to take this half-billion dollar company and continue to make sure that it stays there. And I think that, over time . . .
Don: One of the interesting things, though, is the new HR that we started off the discussion with, and the person she’s replacing is going to focus now on the university. And the university is very much an unknown quantity within Apple, but I know it was said about Steve Job’s passing that perhaps his greatest achievement wasn’t any product, but the fact that he built as an organism, a growing thing that has its own DNA. The university really was the way they foresaw as sort of keeping that together and to grow it really. So it’s quite interesting now that he’s - but he did set up the university and it’s going to focus on that more now. So perhaps it needs a bit more TLC, or it’s growing so big they need to focus on it more.
Leo: To make it clear, it’s not the same as iTunes University, which is what we go to get university courses and stuff. It’s Apple University, which is much more like Hamburger U at McDonald’s.
Rene: Pixar University
Leo: It’s where executives and management get trained to get preserve the Apple DNA and I think it’s really telling that Tim Cook is continuing this effort. This is very important.
Andy: It’s one of the secret parts of Apple success. As a company, I can’t think of many companies of that size that’s focused so much of their effort on actually producing products and actually producing things that are forward-thinking to consumers. Without wasting so much time on internal crap that does nothing but prevent things from happening, cause people to leave before their work is done, and all kinds of other inefficiencies like that. So I think that’s one of the things that makes Apple so successful.
Leo: And all they have to do is look up the coast a little bit to Redmond and see what a hash Microsoft’s made of things. To realize there’s a better way to do this. Apple announced another dividend, big dividend, $2.6 Billion to shareholders, here’s another thing that would never have happened under Steve Jobs, and he resisted this for years. This is in addition to the buyback. However, Apple’s cash position is still excellent. They still have plenty of money in the bank. And of course, one of the things that Cook and others have said is, “We want to keep that money in the bank so we’re nimble.” Perhaps that’s where Market Watch came up with this very – actually, San Francisco Chronicle – this very interesting story that Apple might have met with Tesla to talk about acquiring the electric carmaker. Credible?
Rene: No! They met with them, but it wasn’t for an acquisition.
Leo: Okay. The Chronicle said Apple is looking at the medical devices business, specifically technology that could predict heart attacks – oh, that’s a separate story. Thomason Holman, the audio engineer who invented THX (he’s the TH in THX) - he is somehow going to look about how you can predict heart attacks by studying the sound blood makes as it flows through the arteries. That would be something you could listen to on a watch. Our own Dr. Mom in the chat room says she’s spoken to cardiologists about this crazy notion. She says “It’s a non-starter”. So we’ve got two non-starters.
Andy: The more I hear about these really fine-grained rumors about Apple medical devices, the more I think of advice like that as sort of like Google’s self-driving car. Where it’s something they can work towards, it’s something they can even build a working thing of, and it’s something the company can even think as a very important thing to pursue. But the leap between having a demonstrateable product and having a product they can actually sell, not only to consumers, but also that the government will let them sell, is just such a huge gap that I’ll be prepared to be dazzled and amazed by the day that comes when that thing is actually available for sale.
Leo: So did you see that article, Rene Ritchie, it was kind of leaked out on Sunday at night, last night, or two nights ago, I guess, that Apples’, but see now it’s just not Apples, but Apples and an A guy – Adrian Perica.
Rene: I like Seth Wintraub’s take on 9to5mac, because he follows the electric car industry quite a lot and he was thinking there’s significant overlap in their interests in numerous areas, especially battery technology. And Seth was building a big battery plant. There are a lot of things going on with battery supply and demand. I mean we’re not looking anywhere near graphing batteries yet, but graphing batteries are definitely in everybody’s radar. And there are a lot of things Apple could to with Tesla that does not involve them owning stores that sell cars.
Leo: So, the reason these two stories go together is, they come together in this article in the Chronicle from Thomas Lee and David Baker. They quote analysts as saying “Apple’s got to do something with their nearly $160 billion in cash.” Uh, but that’s, again, investors who say give it to us or spend it.
Alex: I think dividends are a waste of money. I think a buyback makes sense. A buyback is slowly taking ownership back of the company and I think that’s a useful endeavor if you’re going to do something that makes the investors happy, but I don’t think that they get more out of the dividends. To me that’s burning cash. I mean $2.7 billion, you could take a thousand bands and fund their album and put it on iTunes exclusively.
Alex: And you’d probably get a lot more upward push from that than basically throwing it into the fire, as far as I’m concerned, from a company perspective. Dividends - if you’re a company that’s failing or that’s really not going to have any more growth, that’s one thing. But you’re talking about a company that continues to make more profits every quarter than it made before. This is not a PG&E. This isn’t a utility that needs to give away dividends because there’s no other reason to invest. And so I think that the buyback makes sense. I think the dividends they might as well just throw into a big fire.
Leo: It might be a way of giving money back to silence people like Carl Icahn and hope that they can move on.
Alex: He’s asking for buybacks.
Leo: He wants cash – he wants money. He wants to sell his stock for a big lump.
Alex: I’m sure that, obviously there are guys at Apple that are a lot smarter than I am, so I’m sure there’s good reason, but I think that . . .
Leo: He dropped it.
Alex: Yeah, he has dropped it, because Apple did enough. And mostly there are enough people that came up against him; I don’t think people want Apple to lose its flexibility.
Leo: So this whole pipe dream - and I think I agree with you, Rene, that it’s bogus about buying Tesla - started in October, when a German investment banking analyst Adnaan Ahmad, created a media stir when he wrote an open letter to Tim Cook and Al Gore urging the company to acquire Tesla. We get crackpot emails all the time. It doesn’t mean it’s the story. This is what he wrote: “I know this is a radical and potentially transformative idea, but this would radically alter Apple’s growth profile. In Elon Musk, you can strike up a partnership and obtain a new iconic partner.” You know, Elon Musk is one of the few people who could be the next Steve Jobs, so that kind of makes sense.
Rene: But he wants to run Tesla, he doesn’t want to go work at Apple.
Leo: Yeah, Tesla’s doing great, right, there’s no reason Tesla should sell out.
Rene: Like Steve Jobs never sold to IBM
Leo: Tesla’s not next, right?
Andy: They don’t have anything that Apple needs.
Leo: Except Elon Musk, maybe.
Andy: I don’t think they need Elon Musk. When I first heard that idea, I was thinking, I just don’t see Elon Musk fitting in at Apple, because he feels like the kind of guy who just doesn’t want to have another person above him in any capacity. He just – that’s not the mode of some guy who simply says, “We’re going to do a revolutionary electric car and we’re going to make this company successful.” That’s not the sort of person you need to get there.
Leo: A partnership isn’t out of the question. That big 17”screen in the console of the Tesla, shouldn’t that have an apple on it?
Don: It’s primed now, especially with the IOS in the car, which hasn’t yet come out – just coming out soon. They do strike me as being the sort of company that they would partnership with, to create a high profile brand and get it out first, perhaps the Tesla. Or integrate it in some ways we can’t think of yet, into their particular brand of vehicles.
Rene: One of the biggest problems is this viral stupidity that sort of feeds off the market, where they say Apple is a hit-driven company. They have to have a hit. If apple does not have a new product, they’re a complete failure. It doesn’t matter how many billions of phones they sell, how much money they make. They can make more money than Exxon, but if they don’t have another hit product every year, they’re going to be an utter failure. And the day after they’re next hit product comes out, if they don’t have another one, I’m going to call them a failure all over again.
Alex: I think that’s how they climbed the ladder to where they are, but they don’t need to continue that trajectory.
Alex: I think that misunderstands who Apple are, anyway, because I agree with Don in that I could see them targeting the Tesla as being an Apple type of product, in that it is gutsy, it is cool, it is aspirational, it is unaffordable by most people who are shopping for this type of product, and it could show off Apple technology and probably well. In terms of buying a car company, that’s something that, if the rumor was about Google doing that and we take Elon Musk out of the situation, I could at least put that on the somewhere on the spectrum of credibility, because Google is one of these companies that simply says “Electric car? Okay. Cool, sounds like a great idea. Let’s start doing those, too.” Apple really does have to . . I keep saying it, they are writing one story with a beginning and a middle and undetermined end, with consistent characterization and consistent plot lines. And once you introduce a spaceship into Pride and Prejudice, they say “No, this is not a story in which aliens visit Pride and Prejudice, so we’re not going to have a spaceship land.” I think that owning Tesla would be like having a spaceship land in Pride and Prejudice.
Leo: If you, Alex, took – let’s do a little set theory. If you took the set of people who own Macintoshes and the set of people who own Tesla, how big is the intersection of those two?
Rene: The size of Silicon Valley.
Alex: I think the real issue is - I still believe that Apple does their products that they seem revolutionary but their products are designed for 90 percent – what will 90% of the population do 90% of the time? Like that is what Apple products solve. I don’t think Tesla fits into that right now. It’s a 10%, or less. It’s a 1% market.
Leo: Let’s talk about this watch then. The idea of hiring Thomason Holman is fascinating. They hired him in 2011, nobody’s denying that. According to his LinkedIn profile, they hired him to “provide audio direction”. It seems like the quality of audio in iTunes is probably not what the inventor of THX is working on. According to the leak, they’re looking at ways to measure to noise turbulence as it applies to blood flow in order to predict heart attacks. Dr. Mom says, after talking to some cardiologists about this idea, they agree you can do it if you listen to the heart, but you can’t do it from a wrist. Maybe Apple’s doing more than a wrist watch. Maybe they’re going to do a heart monitor.
Don: They have to do something non-invasive, don’t they? They’ve got to do something that you can wear on the outside of your body that will measure various metrics. You know, just how feasible it is I’ve no idea, I’m no expert. But the thing I was harking back to is Twitch ID. Although we were talking about fingerprint sensors in the phone before they actually came out. I don’t think anybody actually anticipated just how well it was integrated, and how well it actually worked in real life. So it wouldn’t surprise me if they do come out with some really strange off-the-wall way of measuring metrics with some as-of-yet-unknown technique.
Andy: I don’t know. I think that, not to blow our collective thoughts, I think that about a year ago, we were all collectively pretty much on the mark. In that we were thinking about, “Well, authentication’s very problematic, part of the user experience, but Apple would not do that unless they had it working absolutely as perfectly as it could humanly do and a step above anything else that anyone else would have done.” I think that also adds a certain amount of focus to how we think about them doing this sort of health watch. As week after week, we get a new rumor about another pie-in-the-sky thing about “Oh we’ll diagnose diabetes, it’ll tell you when to go in for cancer screening, and it’ll do all this sort of stuff, and it won’t be invasive at all, you can buy it without a prescription, it will be legal to sell in every country.” I think that it will be more like fingerprint authentication, where it does this one thing. It doesn’t even do this other one thing which we thought it would do, which is for electronic payment transactions. It does this one thing, it unlocks your phone and in the meantime it gets you hooked on the idea of unlocking your phone by touching this one thing. So, that’s why if they do a health watch, it really it going to be one or two things that work so well that, instead of being the health watch that you put in a drawer after two weeks or you lose it after five weeks and don’t even bother to go look for it very hard, I think they’ll make the first one that does a couple of things that are so good that you actually start turning over sofa cushions to try to find it.
Alex: I think what you want is something that you’re going to keep on all the time.
Andy: You have the charger.
Alex: Well, yeah, you have the charger, but I think that the issue that I have with the Nike FuelBand that I had for quite some time, is that it was another . . . I could almost do everything I wanted to do with it, I had time and I could figure it out, but I wanted all the other bits and pieces that I have with the watch that I have. So, if I can get all of those things in one place, I really don’t want to put something on each wrist. I really want it to just be one experience, and I think that Apple definitely has the opportunity. Alex: And I don’t think they need to measure my blood pressure or my heartbeat or any of those things. Just the basic motion of – if they replace the Nike FuelBand or Fitbit, and then they add all the other things that they could do, I think that they’re in a pretty good place.
Leo: Yeah I agree with you, Fitbit does some of the Pebble notification stuff. But more importantly to all of this, is that it’s beautiful. If it’s fashion, and if Apple can make something fashionable, they can charge a decent price for that. I would consider it. It would have to look good, though. I would guess that most people . . . . By the way, pardon me for this interruption. Davin Haukebo-bol is a photographer who has done a set on Flickr called Macternity. I think we should just sit back and enjoy these pictures of Davin and his Mac Pro.
Leo, singing: “He’s having my baby”, what a wonderful . . .
(Another person singing) “It must have been cold there in my shadow, to never feel sunlight on your face. Did you ever know that you’re my hero? You’re everything, everything, everything, I’d like to be.”
Leo: I wish for those of you listening to the audio stream, you could see the pictures.
Various comments by panel members:
A Mac Pro boudoir
I thought my fondle cam was going too far, but apparently here’s a man who loves his Mac Pro even more.
It’s got to be illegal in several states.
Can you marry a Mac Pro in California?
I’ve got 20 bucks that says that the moisture sensor in that thing is very much red.
Keep the headphones rolling.
It’s just keeps on going. Full multi-core action. Just $19.95
It’s the hippy headband that throws me off.
The headband’s a little weird.
Just when I’m about to sort of say “Okay, to each his own”, it’s the headband that. . .
Mac Pro Jesus turned water into . . .
And at this moment, how many hundreds of thousands of people are saying “That guy got his Mac Pro, how come I can’t get mine. “Damn it, where’s my Mac Pro. Damn you all to hell.”
Leo: All right.
Andy: All right. How are you feeling about yourself right now? Are you feeling good about yourself right now?
Rene: I can never un-see that.
Credit to Davinhb on Flickr. Davin Haukebo-bol. If you want to see these pictures, you may flee to Flickr and see them all in great detail.
Leo: Our show today brought to you by Audible.com. Ah, yes, the greatest bookstore in the world as far as I’m concerned. I don’t read with my eyes, I read with my ears. I listen to great literature - non-fiction, fiction. I mentioned, I said - I probably used the wrong verb when I said I read the Amazon book by Brad Stone, The Everything Store. I listened to it on Audible.com. I just loved it. It’s a great way to listen to books. Our friend Daniel Suarez has a new book. He’s coming in on Monday, less than a week from today, to talk about his new book, Influx, which is phenomenal. Now you can’t listen to it yet, it won’t be out for two days, but you can pre-order it and I’m going to tell you how you can get it for free right now, if you visit audible.com/macbreak. Its 13 hours 45 minutes, so if you get it by Thursday, you’ll have enough time to read it over the weekend and listen to the interview on Monday. That’s my plan for you. And for free too! You’ll be signing up for the gold account. That’s 30 days free, your first month is free, that means your first credit is free, you first book is free. Cancel it anytime in the first 30 days and you will pay nothing, but the book is yours forever. You’ll also get the Daily Digest, Wall Street Journal, and the New York Times. That gold subscription is a great way to listen to Audible.com. What are you listening to these days, Andy? I always like to find out what Andy’s listening to.
Andy: Oh, I’m so happy when this hit audible, actually first published and then hit audible. There’s this massive, obsessively-researched history of the Beatles, that - Part One just released about year ago, It’s called Tune In: The Beatles - All These Years, by Mark Lewisohn. We’re not talking about, okay let’s advertise – How long did take to record “Let it Be” and who played what? It starts off with “Here is the history of Liverpool and here is the great great grandparents of John Lennon, and here’s the cobbler shop where this person who sold John Lennon a pencil used to own before he was sent out of the county for stealing a pig.” It is meant to be absolutely obsessively researched, and comprehensive in every detail. Three parts, and if the first part is called Tune In, you can guess that the second is Turn On, the third part is Drop Out.
Leo: OOOH I like it.
Andy: Part one only takes you as far as the start of the British Invasion, I think it goes all the way to when they’re going to the U.S. for their first appearance on the Ed Sullivan show. But you will hear everything going on. If you’re picking a book for like a free book, this one, part one is 43 hours and 48 minutes long. I am barely 6 hours into it so far. So again, if you want to say “I’m going to get the equivalent of about 40 books out of my free offer”, this is a good one to go for. And also, I have a feeling that if you have an interest in the Beatles, or if you have interest in that aspect of pop culture, this will be pretty much the only series of books you’re going to need to know. This is the Harry Potter series of Beatles books.
Leo: Wow, you know I’ve read all the great Beatle’s books and there’ve been quite a few of them, because I’m a big Beatle’s fan. But this sounds like the definitive bio.
Andy: It’s pretty good. You have to sort of reset your head before – again this is Part One, and they do go very, very far back. But the book wants to make sure you understand the context of everything that’s going on. Once your head gets used to the fact that we’re not going to find out about Yoko Ono and how she might have disrupted anything for quite some time yet, you sort of calm down and appreciate the tapestry they’re making, the journey they’re taking you on.
Leo: You’ve got another 80 hours before Yoko even makes an appearance in this book. Are you aware of this book, Don McAllister? You live in Liverpool.
Don: No, I’m not. It looks very interesting with the background to it.
Leo: I don’t know if you know, but here in the states, it’s been kind of a big Beatle’s thing because the 50th anniversary of the Beatle’s first appearance in the United States was a week ago. And so CNN’s got – there was a Grammy special. Paul and Ringo performed together on it. So there’s kind of a second wave of Beatlemania going on in the US right not
Don: I don’t know if you’ve got it in the US, but we also got a Beatle’s, wasn’t so much a full channel on the Apple TV, but we did get a -
Leo: Yes we did.
Don: That was good, yeah. There’ve been some events going across the continent.
Leo: Do Liverpuddlians today think of them as favored sons and look proudly at them?
Don: Yeah, very much so, yeah, it’s a big part of the renaissance of the area, to be honest. The docks have all been redeveloped, you’ve got museums, not just for the Beatles, but for the whole history of the port ---- it’s quite famous. As a port, Liverpool is quite pronounced in England, but the Beatle’s local history, yeah we have a lot of Beatle’s museums, you can go and visit Paul’s and John’s houses, they now are owned by the National Trust and have been renovated to the 1960s. I not sure if you can go into John Lennon’s, but you can certainly go into Paul McCartney’s. You can go on a tour and there’s what you call a magical mystery tour bus that takes you around, and you can get taxi tours. Lots of the songs are actually real places in Liverpool, Strawberry Fields and Penny Lane. You can see all those yet. It’s quite a big thing and we have a themed Beatle hotel as well.
Leo: Wow. Like Hogwarts. Well, you know, as usual Andy, you’ve changed my next Audible purchase, my credits come up February 22nd in a few days. (sigh) So now I’m going to make Tune In: The Beatles: All These Years, and Daniel Suarez’s book, my next listens on Audible.com
Influx or Tune In, your choice, but you are going to get one of them for free, audible.com/macbreak. I’m telling you, it’s the best way. You know in your car, at the gym, when you’re doing laundry, whatever, I listen to Audible all the time. I love it. Audible.com/macbreak and we thank them for their support over these many many years of Mac Break Weekly. Yeah, now I have to order that book. This is exciting. I didn’t know about this.
Don: My claim to fame is that I actually saw the Penny Lane video being filmed when I was a child.
Leo: Really, when you were a kid?
Don: The school in Wavertree, where I originally came from, and that’s where Paul originally came from. But, playing fields: the school where I went didn’t have a local playing field, so we used to go to Penny Lane, a place called Grove Mount. And on the school bus, we used to get a bus there; we saw this weird policeman or something go, or this military man on a horse with a camera spinning round. We actually saw later they were actually filming the video of Penny Lane. There’s actually a shot of a bus, it might have been the bus I was on in that video, one of the green buses.
Leo: Don McAllister is in the video for Penny Lane. Look closely and you will see.
Andy: I don’t know if you see a therapist for any reason, but you should just like bring that up as a memory from childhood, just to see how many sessions before the therapist actually figures out, oh wait no, this is not just like an imaginary thing, you actually did see a military man on horseback being by cameras. This is not an offshoot of your persecution complex as a result of being a broadcaster.
Leo: I mean really the cultural influence the Beatle’s had – how many of us can hear the words Penny Lane and not start in our heads going “In Penny Lane there is a barber….” It just comes immediately. It’s so much a part of our cultural background. You’re very lucky, Don, that’s cool
So, if you are not Davin, and you didn’t have Macternity recently, you may be disappointed to know that Mac Pro ship dates are now April, according to the store. If you wish you could spend 50% more and buy it on EBay, a little profiteering going on.
Rene: Mac Pro Scalpers
Leo: Mac Pro Scalpers! Uh, ship estimates for new orders in the US, China, France, Germany, Japan and the UK all heading into April. Is it short supply, is it excessive demand? Rene, do you have any ideas on this?
Rene: Well, I mean, they’re doing it in one factory in the US and they – it’s probably – Apple on all these conference calls talks about being in balance. It’s a brand new product, and everyone who wants one has been waiting for it for years, so they all ordered it immediately. What we’re seeing with the dates is they keep pushing out six weeks, so they’re going to a new month and it leaps! It seems like it’s even further away, but it’s still roughly six weeks away, so it’s not getting worse, but it’s not getting better yet, and until they meet that initial demand it’s not going to get better anytime soon.
Leo: Now I’m looking at the store, and I see “available to ship April”, but available for pickup, but that’s not the same day, right? It doesn’t mean I can go to the apple store tomorrow and get it. I would get it in April.
Rene: If you have a business rep, you can go and see what you can do for you. Sometimes there’s a different supply for the store than for online, but you’re probably not going to get it much, if any at all, earlier than that date, unfortunately.
Alex: And I think that this is actually one of the real challenges of doing this kind of work in the US, is because one of the things that China has been very good at, is when they need to ramp another 30,000 people or 10,000 people or whatever, that has been more doable than necessarily doing that in the US. And so I think this is also some teething - of building a US firm, which I think that Apple’s very committed to and I applaud them for doing that. But I think that it is more challenging to produce en masses here.
Leo: I’m going to make a wild guess that it is NOT the Texas factory that’s the problem. I bet you they can produce enough Mac Pros to fulfill the demand, but there are components in here that I bet are in shorter supply than the Mac Pro itself. Like those FirePro cards. Doesn’t that seem credible?
Rene: This is the only product they could probably manufacture in the U.S., because this kind of short supply of any other product would be untenable for them. So they’re taking all the pain on their Mac Pro – but I think you’re right; it’s a confluence of the components, plus the manufacturing, plus the new facility, plus a brand new product which often has higher – more real-grade issues than other products.
Don: One wonders if what if it’s not a pricing thing – I’ve seen plenty of articles on the net saying that you can actually buy a Mac Pro, the real components, for the same price. It’s such a good deal because they’re high-end components. I’m wondering why they’re not constrained, not physically because it’s a low yield, but because they’ve got x amount of processors or x amount of the video components at a set price and they can only sit around for . . .
Leo: There are two components in here which are very, very expensive which I bet are in very short supply. That would be the Xeon E5, the Intel processor, which is brand new and probably rarer than hen’s teeth and, buy the way, thousands of dollars by itself. Like $2000. And then these AMD FirePro workstation GPUs. You know, I’m feeling more and more guilt about my MAC Pro.
Rene: But you love it, Leo.
Andy: Are there some photos you haven’t posted yet? We’re waiting.
Leo: My photos will be on my Flickr stream later, yes.
Alex: And hard are you pushing that Leo?
Leo: Not at all. I’m surfing the net and getting email.
Alex: Well I can trade you a great iMac for your Mac Pro.
Leo: Get in line, Alex Lindsey, because remember I have a stable of editors here who are using 3 year old Mac Pros each and every one of whom keep saying to me every single day, “You know that Mac Pro you have at home? You don’t really need dual core dual FirePro GPUs, do you?”
Rene: If you really loved it Leo, you would let it go.
Andy: It might be time to hire a food taster.
Don: I gave up my WWDC ticket, because I felt guilty about going and putting a proper developer out of their place, so that’s why you might have to do the same.
Alex: Putting a proper editor out of his place. Hey, are we going to see a new MAC Mini? The drumbeat’s pretty strong; it’s time for a new Mac Mini. According to one source, the Belgium online computer store showed an i7-based Mac Mini, a Haswell-based Mac Mini, but of course that could just be a dummy ad. That doesn’t mean Apple’s doing it.
Alex: Well I sure hope they do. To be honest with you, in many ways I’m more excited about a new Mac Mini that was beefier than necessarily a Mac Pro. A Mac Pro I need here and there, but one of the reasons we’re looking at buying some of the Mac Pros that we’re looking at getting once they become more available, is actually more to do with things that we would do with a Mac Mini, it’s just that the Mac Mini graphics processor isn’t fast enough, the cpu isn’t quite fast enough.
Leo: What would you have to have to make it a competitor?
Alex: We need a graphics processor in the Mac Mini that is comparable to the MacBook Pro.
Leo: Have they ever used a dedicated GPU in a Mac Mini?
Alex: No, I don’t think so.
Leo: You’re going to get the Iris Pro graphics at best. Is that good enough?
Alex: No, probably not, I mean I think that those are the kind of things, it’s being able to get the dedicated processor being able to have some of the new chips, those are the primary things that we’d love to see and that would actually - I would be much more interested in that in the Mac Mini. I think it’s actually one of the reasons that I think Apple will get through the shipping issues that it’s had with the Mac Pro before it will introduce the Mac Mini, because there’s a lot of us – If the Mac Mini came out tomorrow , there’s a lot of us who would buy five Mac Minis instead of five Mac Pros, to do a lot of the things we have, because we have a need to go a lot faster than what the Mac Mini is doing, but we don’t necessarily have the need to go all the way up to a Mac Pro.
Leo: If you wanted to test this Mac Mini might be like, if you got a $2000 MacBook Pro, it has Haswell i7, it has the top-of-the-line Iris Pro 5200 graphics, it would be the closest thing I think to what a Mac Mini would be. Rene, am I wrong? Somebody in the chat room says, “No no, there are Mac Minis with GPU.”
Rene: The interesting thing for me is, and I have heard nothing about a new Mac Mini, it’s completely MIA as far as I know. Peter Cohen had a good piece on it saying that” The current Mac Mini is still tied to the old MacBook Pro architecture.”
Leo: Not the new one.
Rene: The old one, and they would have to re-architect it and that could include pcie, ssd on pcie, and much faster ram and all these things, but it would be a substantially new internal, whether it gets an external update or not, on the inside it would be a substantially new computer and would require the new Haswell chipset and all that. It could simply be a matter of Apple can only do so many things at a time. Come WWDC, we’ll see the new generation in the MacBook Pro and the new Mac Mini that would go with it. That’s about the only thing I can imagine. But like you said, it would be Iris graphics; it would be the Intel i7 processor. That kind of stuff, Apple is unfortunately tied to Intel’s road map entirely for.
Leo: The Norse god, Jim Dalrymple at The Loop, talking about Peter Cohen’s article, said “It certainly will be interesting to see what Apple does.” But he points out Apple’s interest has been with the iPhone, the iPad, the MacBook, the MacBook Pro and I guess you’d have to include the Mac Pro and not so much the Mini.
Leo: Is there a market for the mini? Obviously, Alex Lindsay would buy thousands.
Education pc servers
Andy: I think that the center of gravity of computing is moving more towards a machine like the Mac Mini than even the iMac. Because, if you think about it, the value of a Mac in 2014 is a box that yes, you sit down at it, you have a keyboard connected to it, and you do work on it, but it’s just as helpful to you as a device that serves content to all the devices inside your house. Even if you were to buy it just as an accessory for your iPad, there are dumber ways to spend 500 dollars towards that goal than buying a Mac Mini and using it as a headless server, just so that any time you want to run a Mac app on your iPad, it’s there for you. So I’m just giving a couple different examples of the ways that people are using computers differently today than they were even five years ago. And the way that the iTunes echo system and the new features of IOS7 and Mavericks help you to leverage that. So, I would not be surprised if the world kind of realized that perhaps they’re chasing the wrong goat here, by going for a Mac Pro or going for an iMac when this much more affordable machine that uses stuff that you already have, can deliver so much of what you actually need, not just to the desktop, but to the entire house and the rest of your devices on the internet.
Leo: Given the size of the Mac Pro – I’ll tell you, here’s what we’ll do. When they come out with the new Mac Mini, I’m going to do a blind A/B test. I’m going to have my dual monitors. Behind them will be a Mac Pro and the new Mac Mini and a little switch. We’ll put Chad back there switching and I will be using, and if I can tell the difference between the new Mac Mini and the Mac Pro, then I get to keep the Mac Pro, but if I can’t, then the editors get it. How about that?
Rene: The new Mac Mini can drive your dual 4k displays. You won’t be able to tell the difference.
Leo: They’re not 4K; they’re just dual 27” Apple Cinema displays.
Andy: The more people I talk to about this, the more convinced I am that today at least the only people who get a real tangible benefit from the Mac Pro are x code developers, ad people who are doing editing and final cut. Everybody else is not really going to see the performance boost that they are hoping for.
Don: I’m really with Alex, actually. I do think that they’ve kept back the Mac Mini because it would have impacted on Mac Pro sales.
Don: Because a true pro is going to go for the Mac Pro, but there’s an awful lot of people who are semipro or
Leo: Morons like Leo is what you’re saying.
Don: No, no, no. People who want really powerful machines.
Leo: Taste makers, influencers. That’s it; I’m the taste maker –
Don: You put the relative price between them and the performance differential and the yet-to-be-released Mac Mini, and I bet a lot of people would have waited.
Alex: There are a lot of things that we use them for, because we probably have, well, a lot of Mac Minis. I really don’t know how many we have, but there are a lot of them. But we use them frequently to just glue things together. For instance we might have multiple hang outs going out, so we have five or six of them that we used to use for serving, but we just decided that we weren’t getting the same frame rate that we really wanted out of those compared to the laptops and that’s one of the reasons that we phased them out and went back to laptops to run that. But those are the kind of things, you know, there’s all kinds of heads-up displays and other things. If I was running a classroom I’d much rather use Mac Minis all stacked, cooled, in a little case, where no one’s toughing them, and just have the monitors and keyboards out in the classroom.
We use iMacs in Rwanda, we have 40 of them there, but the reason we use them there is specifically because of the graphics processors, being that we’re doing 3D and video and everything else, we can’t quite do that with Mac Minis. But if I was running a classroom that wasn’t teaching media, I would definitely use Mac Minis and then just pipe all those things out, because then you set that all up and now it’s all centralized, it’s secure, it’s taken care of and people only touch what they want. What I’d really love to do for some of those classes, of course, is to get a more open architecture, you know, Apple TV. I think for education there’s a lot of interesting things you could do with that, as well. You know what I’m talking about, distributing . . .
Leo: You know Intel makes a similar device, the NUC. I’m curious how well that’s selling. It’s a Celeron, it’s not a Haswell.
Alex: What’s it called?
Leo: The NUC – New Unit of Computing. It’s like a hockey puck; maybe it’s a little bit bigger. More like an Apple TV size than a Mac Mini size. I’m curious how well that’s selling.
So do you think that Apple will wait until say supplies of the Mac Pro are caught up and everybody they think who wants one has bought one and then release a Mac Mini?
Alex: I think so, I think that one of the things that I
Alex: But I think that if you had a significant and they put a lot in to that Mac Pro and if you had a significantly improved Mac Mini, I think there would be a lot of people, like me, instead of buying a Mac Pro which is what we’re planning to buy as soon as they’re available, we would drop that to two or three immediately and go with Mac Minis.
Leo: What if they made it look like a Mac Pro but the size of a soda can?
Alex: I want the form factor. I want the Mac Mini form factor; I don’t want them to change it.
Leo: How about a Mac Mini that could be inserted nasally?
Rene: I think the odds are, though - I think if apple had a Mac Mini ready to go, you would be hearing more about it. It would have linked by now; there would be a lot more rumors about it. They generally tend to go, to race to that finish line. And then just make it in time to release it. And then they have an event.
Andy: I think that for us seeing a Mac Mini is not necessarily because they’re trying to manipulate the market into buying more Mac Pros. I do think that it’s simply because it is not as big a priority for them right now as the really nice Mac Pro is. Also when you think about it, when people hit the Apple store, they’ve got cash in their hand. If they can put $3000 of that into a Mac Pro, they would actually buy it if they could get it sometime this week. When they see that they’re going to have to wait three months for it, that money just does not go to Apple. You have to think about if they were to have released a brand new Mac Mini in January, let’s say, and they had enough devices to suit every demand, for everyone who has 500, 600, 700, 800, 1000 dollars to spend on it, how many of those they’d be able to sell. Because I do think people who come in for a Mac Pro will look at the Mac Mini and they will say, they will have that lizard response that says, ”Yes but that is a flat rounded-off aluminum box, the likes of which I’ve seen a hundred times before. This is columnar, and it’s shiny and white, I’m going to just take off my shirt, pull it into bed with me and kiss it.” I don’t think those people who want the Mac Pro would be distracted by a new Mac Mini with better specs.
Rene: They could have both.
Andy: How about they start selling the Mac Mini as a plinth for the Mac Pro.
Rene: It’s only available in a bundle deal – a special.
Leo: It could be shaped like a hand. Holding the Mac Pro.
Rene: It’s an orb that floats on top of the heat pump.
Leo: Yeah, that’d be good. Yeah, just floats, from the air column, on the air column. Make it pretty light.
Alex: Finally a use for the Nexus cube.
Leo: By the way apparently there are NUCs Intel NUCs with i5, as much as in i5, but no i7s. Gigabyte does make some i7 NUC-style computing devices. Well, we’re all voting for new Mac Minis, I don’t know if Apple’s listening, but if they want to hustle along with those.
Rene: Well, here are all your prayers, Leo. Sometimes the answer is not yes.
Leo: Sometimes the answer is no. Yeah. Taking a break, come back with more? Alex Lindsey is here from Washington DC, the nation’s capital, where he looks . . . You look like you’re in the next Die Hard.
Alex: Hahaha . I didn’t bring a ripped up shirt, you know, for that, and get a little grease on here and everything else.
Leo: Yippee ki yay, Alex Lindsey. Rene Ritchie from iMore.com. We have from Liverpool, the man behind screencastsonline.com, a great site, to learn how to use Mac software. Mr. Don McAllister, things going well with screencasts online?
Don: Yeah, doing very very well. Course we cover the iPad and iPhone as well. We do everything
Leo: Everything! Going on any cruises soon?
Don: Well we’ve got the Mac Mania 17 coming – June, so that’s the one that comes into Liverpool.
Leo: Will you join the boat in Liverpool or will you go to London or somewhere?
Don: No I think we leave from Harwich and it goes to Northern France and the Channel Islands and goes to Ireland and then it goes to Wales and then it goes to Liverpool and up to Scotland and then back to Harwich.
Leo: That sounds like a fun cruise! How long is that? It sounds like two weeks.
Don: 10 days.
Leo: Yeah, that’s a lot of work.
Andy: That must be so cool to know that when you’re planning – I’m going to be in Liverpool on Thursday so I’ll just do laundry. I’ll only need to pack two pairs of underwear
Leo: You phone will work everywhere, except France. Nobody’s phone works in France.
Don: We’ve got the itinerary discussions at each port. Fascinating to see what they did for Liverpool. They do shore excursions. They come to the Northwest of England as well, so you can go to – you can do a Titanic tour.
Leo: That’s where it was built, right
Don: Yeah, or you can do the obligatory Beatle’s tour as well. I’m just deciding what tour to do.
Leo: Where would I get off the boat to see Stonehenge?
Don: That would be Southampton.
Leo: Southampton, oh down in Southy. And you don’t want to go see the Magna Carta, because it’s here! The shipped it over here. Did you know that?
Don: I did not know that
Leo: First time it ever left, it was in a church – first time it ever left the church, they put it in a special suitcase and flew it to the U.S.
Andy: So, temporarily at least, your country is without a basis of government.
Leo: The nobles can now take over, again. Queen Kate! It’s in Houston, just so you know.
Leo: The most human town in America. They put it in a special aluminum and steel case with monitors, wrapped it in special packaging, and then they put it on a plane to cross the Atlantic Ocean. The Magna Carta has never before left English shores. It’s been in Hereford Chapel, near the Welsh border. Right up near you.
Don: Uh huh
Leo: For 800 years, ever since the nobles forced King John to sign that, at Runnymede. John C. Dvorak was there, he told me all about it.
Leo: Our show today brought to you by Squarespace.com. You saw the Super Bowl commercial? A Better Web Awaits! And it starts with your website. Let’s not have that ugly disgusting poorly-designed internet, let’s have a gorgeous design for your site with Squarespace.com. It’s as simple as going to squarepsace.com, clicking that white Get Started button, taking a look at the twenty-five gorgeous templates - some brand new ones in there - the logo creator tool, so if you don’t have the money for a designer, you can actually do your own logo which is really cool. It’s easy to use, you start with a design, let’s look at Momentum. These are all mobile responsive which means they look great on any size screen, even that 4K screen. Or an iPhone screen. They all have eCommerce enabled, so you don’t have to worry about a special mobile site or a special eCommerce site, it’s everywhere, it fits, it works and the beauty is and you will see the example sites designed with any template that you are looking at, it is really cool because you can really see what these sites in action look like. Gorgeous, full color, not clutter, sites that beckon to you. I think SquareSpace is great; two weeks free so you do not need to give them a credit card, the idea is, here is a chance to try it out, see what it looks like, you can even use their importers to use to import existing content with all the links, images and the contents and the images, and so instantly that site and by the way you go yes my content does not look great on this template let just try another one. Customize it to your heart’s content to with a drag and drop and click it does not take anything, this momentum is great because you do not need a the images just go all the way to the edge of the screen. It is very image specific, that is why a lot of photographers and artists love SquareSpace for their portfolios but you know you want a text heavy site there is templates too for that and you can do anything you want, here is a Hudson, these are much more text, a specific and you can see some people have done with Hudson, in terms of text a lot of images to I just feel like SquareSpace is a great place to play go there play with it. If you decide to buy all I ask is that you use the offer code MACBREAK2 if you want to and that takes 10% off their already low prices SquareSpace starts as low as 8 dollars a month when you buy the annual plan and that includes the ability to sell a product and accept the donations, so it is great if you want to create a site for non-profit or a fund drive, 8 dollars a month and that is it and that includes a customer domain name when you sign up for a year, 16 dollars for the professional site that means unlimited bandwidth, unlimited storage, unlimited contributors, you could sell up to 20 products and the developer platform is fabulous if you do know HTML, CSS, JAVA stuff like that they are a great development platform. The full ecommerce site which not only gives unlimited bandwidth, and pages, galleries and blogs and storage but a fully integrated ecommerce for unlimited products digital, physical or service they even help you out with real time carrier shipping, label printing, integrating accounting Square Space that is 24 dollars a month. Use our offer code MACBREAK2 you will take 10% right off the top. SquareSpace.com. Look you made a new logo for us.
Don: Yes, it was quick the logo creator it was quick and easy in the time it took you to read that I did it.
Leo: Hundreds of Google fonts and I do not know how many icons in there you know just like thousands of icons, image oh look at that, I love that MACBREAK WEEKLY and scribble.
Don: Here let us do one area office it is free.
Leo: Very simple site, oh Comic Sans oh no that is tech tonto.
Don: Do we have Comic Sans?
Leo: I do not think that Squarespace would allow you to use Comic Sans that is good I like that very fifties, sixties I mean so it is our peter mac’s version. Square Space.com our offer code MACBREAK2. Here is fifteen years of Apple’s home page this is put together with, where are the slides here oh My God look how bad these looked, Introducing the new,
Don: We are just getting started.
Leo: He made 300.
Rene Ritchie: The geo cities Apple pages.
Leo: Hello again is still in the iMac wow,
Alex; Those were done with a BB edit.
Leo: You know they used to use BBEdit for a long time, these probably all are BBEdit pages.
Andy: But the freaky thing is thatyou actually go to a modern website and like suddenly it collapses down to 800 pixel wide formatting and you go oh they have not really updated that layout since 1998.
Leo: Let us start with this, they have got the tabs that look actually a little bit like the Apple site today, this goes back to OS9 oh and they are doing cards and even then they had cards Apple keeps trying that idea you mac is the new venue for indie film makers says the news headline Apple will decide this is year 2000, May 2000 oh we had those Cannon XL2 cameras, that is how TWIT started.
Don: It would actually be the XSLX1.
Leo: Is that the SL1, you recognize that.
Don: Yes the XL2 had a different conformed back body, that it the kind of red channel……….(Presenters talking over each other)
Leo: You are kind of an XL Canon nerd.
Don: I was kind of in love with the XL Series.
Leo: I did not know this about you. (Presenters talking over each other)
Don: We called that the ZR bad boy, yes oh My God, it
Leo: It was cheap.
Don: It was horrible, you got this tiny little screen, and the login capture sink would go out all the time on those things
Leo: Buy now with 1-click Apple got sued by Amazon, did they did Amazon own that patent 1-click buy maybe they made a deal.
Alex: They really did perfect the jelly belly button.
Leo: That was the earliest ever lickable if there ever was a jelly button. Holy Cow.
Alex: It took a lot of Photoshop work to do that well.
Leo: There is Office Mac introducing the best version of Office ever- more MAC like features, yes it is quite like a MAC.
Andy: It has even got the new CD storage case you know well.
Leo: I like that case, remember that case oh my MAC and yours too now Andy Ihnatko he has got one right behind him THE CUBE and look at that monitor what is that a 15 inch monitor, wow we are still in the year 2000.
Andy: It was the speakers that I really dug.
Leo: Those little round speakers.
Andy: Those little grapefruit speakers yes. Remember that when you used to buy Apple computers, you would get accessories with it.
Leo: Yes like a keyboard.
Andy: And someone in Apple would say that will make the box bigger then EP would shout out no we want to give things to our customers, instead of just the box.
Leo: Here is the first Titanium Power Book, it says 2013 but this is not the case this like 2011.
Alex: I remember that the wifi on the Titanium was, worked from about 10 feet.
Leo: Yes because it was in a metal case.
Alex: Well if you put an antenna inside a metal.
Leo: It was a Faraday Cage MacBook, and RIP MIX, BURN is to be loved this is probably now that we look at it. This is Steve Jobs going to it ummmmmm to the music industry RIP MIX BURN.
Andy: Doesn’t it just freak you out to see a Mac with so much big text, that,
Leo: That is horrible.
Andy: I think that it is cool. I do not think that is bad and the new Macs are either. It is such an emphatic statement about how their thinking has changed on this.
Leo: This is the Dalmation Mac.
Rene: Good old Dalmation and they had Flower Power as well.
Leo: Oh yes that is right here you go Flower Power wow, Pete this is very 60s. Now shipping the power of UNIX this is the OS 10 box with the simplicity and elegance of Mackintosh Final Cut Pro 2 Power Cup of G4. This is fun Power Mac G4 SuperDrive now shipping again the Power to Burn they are really pushing the burn I think this is really a kind of the way of slapping the music industry into submission. Update to MAC OS 10 enables CD Burning. The new ibook it had a modem, Ethernet, wire USB and RGB and an AV Plug. How many of these ports are gone forever, no Ethernet.
Alex: No fire wire, you know when the retinas came out and the big thing that you are going to miss and Andy and I argued about it is that I did not think that I would miss the Ethernet cable and Andy I wanted to let you that I probably think about you once a day or twice a day.
Leo: We miss the Ethernet cable. (All presenters talking loudly over each other)
Alex: I always have to pull the hard line and I always go Andy was right, Andy was right.
Leo: What is it they call this the plastic power Mac? That was a beautiful one Marcus Brown Leigh always a few of these in the background of his show. Ah this is the 911 pages. “Our thoughts are with those that are affected by the tragic events of this week.” And then a link to the Red Cross, that is tasteful, very tasteful, very nicely done. OS10 and 10.1 they are still selling….. Oops say hello to ipod thousands of songs in your pocket 2001, late 2001 Adobe Illustrator 10 Creative Freedom, this is really quite the trick,………oh George Harrison, Steve Jobs must have been a Beatles fan.
Rene: Shows how important Office and Adobe were back then.
Leo: Yes right in the front first Mac and then Adobe illustrator yes.
Alex: The Photoshop Update.
Leo: $50,000 editing system now 98% off introducing Final Cut Pro 3, The Titanium Combo comes with a new G4 power drive, burn CDs anywhere. The X Serve remember that.
Rene: May she rest in peace.
Leo: May she rest in peace $2999 this is important that X serve roughly costs the same as the Mac pro. What did you get for an X Serve for $3,000 is a dual gigahertz processor, single gigahertz, two megs of L3 cash, 2 gigs of SD Ram, get ready for this 480 gigabytes of hard drive you did get dual gigabytes Ethernet but remember it is a network and an OS10 server.
Alex: A redundant power supply.
Leo: Redundant power supply. There is the white 700 megahertz iBook, 30gig hard-drive and 100 megahertz system, remember when they said that as you know wow here is the eMac for education the most affordable G4 system at 1099 bucks. What is interesting is how consistent Apple’s pricing has been even 10 15 years later. They understand that 1200 dollars price point is the critical price point for the iMac and iTunes 3 smart playlist, ratings and this is the one that also had podcasts.
Rene: Gorgeous brushed metal.
Andy: Loading the floating screen iMac, still one of my favorite computer designs.
Leo: Oh yes.
Rene: Still Pixar.
Leo: The Johnnyi, the Intercounties Johnny i talks a lot about that. Really neat and the new iPod family now up to 20 gigs, starting at just 299 for 5 gigs.
Alex: Now for PC 2.
Leo: Oh now that is a big one and Steve Jobs fought every step of the way and he did not want to do a Windows version for iTunes, but fortunately his team convinced him over his dead body that it was a good idea. OS 10 Jaguar. Do you want to say something, I see you the new power Mac G4 with dual processor 1699.
Leo: Oh remember that. That never worked.
Andy: But it was a great idea, as we go through these pages we keep revisiting days when you just understood that if you wanted to move an address from one device to another, you are just going to type it into the new device.
Alex: Or you are going to end with six of them. That was the other thing.
Leo: Well this is what happened with this.
Alex: Or even better.
Andy: Or none of them. Sync is hard.
Leo: They put the Palm Five logo there but it would always disappear from me. It would like be there and then gone.
Andy: I distinctly remember the first time using iSync and have you ever been so mad at your computer so that you rationally know that this is an inanimate object that you still have to talk to it anyway, and I just remember being right there in my office talking to this iSync. You see I had this device that had no addresses in it and I had that other machine that had about 800 addresses in it and when I said Sync I just thought that you would understand that I wanted the device with no address in it had everything and I guess he wanted one that had no addresses on the big one too. Well, Okay fine. I guess I just stupid. Just that I have been using computers since I was ten years old I am a bit of neophile. I am not what you call a techie. And, that I had to get into the car and drive for about two hours at 2.00am
Rene: It was time you took time out.
Leo: We were pretty excited when the new iPod came out and here I am on CNN:
Excerpt from CNN: Here is something else but it has been a good thing, and that is talking about the iPod. A short time ago in our special series week iPod nation we showed you how and why the iPod has become an obsession.
Leo: Show Biz tonight that is how far I had sunk.
Excerpt continues……..dummy and you do not know the first thing about music or even if you think that you are iPod aficionado. Joining us live from San Francisco is Leo Laporte and Leo Laporte is the author of the Gadget Guide of 2005, Good to see you,
Leo: Hi Karen, good to see you.
Reporter: First of and foremost,
Leo: I still have that jacket( not in TV excerpt)
Reporter: You are going to show us how that little white machine works, just explain what an iPod is and how it works basically (Leo explaining how the iPod works).
Andy: Holy Cow what a weird haircut you had back then.
Leo: The parting was on the other side.
Andy: Oh my God I am looking at the fashions of the day and how they have really changed and probably looked………….you would not be caught wearing that same jacket today. (Presenters laughing and talking over each other)
Leo: Wearing the same clothes ten years later.
Alex: It is probably the same jacket isn’t it.
Leo: I think that it is.
Andy: I was once giving a talk and I had to once refer to like a MAC World Expo like ten years earlier, and I had a picture of myself with the thing that I was talking about and I was like five minutes into my explanation and like talking about a certain trend in a certain technology we had to stop when we realized that I am wearing the same shirt and the same pants and I mean literally the exact same clothes.
Leo: Damn You Tube. (Excerpt from TV running) nice set hmmm. I think that it all great.
Andy: Actually, if we do like a multi spring like that video and Alex it is like CNN and from our correspondent from San Francisco and Washington.
Leo: For now we are going to Alex Lindsay in Washington to explain the Newton.
Andy: Actually it could be cool as Leo was talking in that video like Alex could just be talking over him and it would be like any other news or panel discussion.
Leo: It is all the same I hated doing this Show Biz. So let us go back that was prompted by someone in the chat-room, thank-you. Oh remember this the Switch ads, “ My PC was not plug-n-play it was plug-n-get mad. Janie Porsche she saved Christmas. Thank-you Janie. “ I do it all on my Mac.” Johnny Jaclone.
Andy: And that is a future Mac Pro owner.
Leo: This is a joke.
Andy: “ Get out of your Windows world. It’s not worth it. I’ll never go back.” It is Jeremiah Colehick. He is now I do not know……….
Leo: Oh Look he owns the America Umbrella Company, if you have a small business get a Mac. Now this is obviously a campaign. There is Jimmy Carter.
Andy: That guy that we flashed before he wrote an essay on Steve Jobs passed away because I guess he is sort of kept in touch with Steve and he was there for the debut for the Mac Book Air.
Leo: This thing.
Andy: No that guy.
Leo: Tom Gansa.
Andy: I think that if I remember correctly. My brain did a pattern recognition thing; they are actually going to have to do something.
Leo: You are amazing; you are actually going to have to do something to get that. That is not just a fantasy. That is the iBook the most affordable, portable book ever a 1000 bucks right.
Andy: Entry level.
Leo: Entry-level right. Introducing a Director MX for Mac OS X, this is when they still like Macromedia.
Andy: You know you walk through all of these different products and how weird it to see them promoting other peoples products on the front page. In 2014 there is only one product that we see that they have not replaced with their own branded version and that is Photoshop. Now I am suddenly brand new wondering that the cheese is standing alone and does Apple simply say Okay Just Ship it.
Leo: Final Look pro DVD 4 the late lamented Studio 2, Shake 3 they still do Shake, Alex……………..
Alex: No no shake.
Leo: Old and new Adobe creative suite built for Mac 10 optimized for the G5. Here it is Andy, that is yours the 20-inch iMac, the luxo lamp iMac 2199 see. They are very consistent you see.
Alex: It is a great idea; it was definitely a great idea.
Leo: You have got iTunes AOL members it is like Microsoft Office for the rest of your life; here is where the transition starts to begin iLife.
Andy: That sounds like a threat. You have been sentenced to Microsoft Office for the rest of your life. For the rest of your natural days.
Leo: Good Lord, ipod, ipod mini that is the new one in color.100 million free songs, do you remember this one they were giving away Pepsi, you drank a Pepsi inside the cap, it was an iTunes song. God you would never see that on Apple site today, perhaps it is Pepsi takeover. iTunes 4.5, 700,000 songs and now it is 20 million, amazing!
Andy: That is one hundred thousand songs on iPad now.
Leo: No I think that is in the iTunes library, 700,000 legal tracks including Disney and the Beasty Boys. Office 2004 for the Mac, Airport Express, this is a really fun history, iPod your BMW for a seamless integration for an iPod and an automobile around 2004. We still have my cinema 30-inch display, why does Apple not make that any more. Make 4k, I still have that, Jason still has that, Jason over there I think he does.
Alex; He does and he is still using it.
Leo: Great. I miss that. That is a lot of reels. Now the first hundred million downloads on iTunes, there you go a hundred million songs legally, that are legal, legally downloaded a major boost for online music. Way past that now 10 billion. I think, there are Motion 299 bucks and they got it down to 99, and then is it still 99.
Alex: No Motion costs 50 dollars.
Leo: Logik Pro.
Alex: It was frustrating because Motion was 300 which I thought was a great deal, and then it was the only bundle with Final Cut Studio which was the bad deal and now 50 dollars which is a fantastic deal.
Leo: And now the iBook, oh I bought one of these for my sister new edition the black iPod with the red dial I love that 20 gigs 350 bucks. This all comes, I am not going to go through with all of this because there is a lot this comes from the Tech Blog.com fifteen years of Apple.com really like a cool slide show on Slideshare. The techblog.com I want do not want to spend the rest of the show going through that it is awesome. Really awesome. Court grants Apple’s motion to dismiss the Siri misrepresentation lawsuit, that is over it is gone, it is done motion to dismiss that for two years on Friday the law suit alleged that Apple’s 4S advertisement had misrepresented the capabilities of Siri, the judge said….pppt, you are out of here. I do not know if you can appeal a dismissal like that. Apple TV shall we talk about those rumors; Rene Ritchie in April Apple is to release an updated set top box. Apparently, there are talks with Time Warner and Cable, oh never mind. Oh forget that, you think that Comcast bought or are trying to buy Time Warner Cable just because of that.
Rene: You are not far off.
Leo: It was the only cable company that would talk to Apple.
Rene: That would be hilarious.
Rene: It is so funny because in North America like US and Canada ISPs are allowed to own cable companies and vice-versa like you have Comcast, NBC, and we have Sean Global and Rodgers, Rubel and CTV and it just leads to these horrible, horrible pairings that seem to slow down every good media evolution that we have coming to us.
Leo: If you are curious about this but we are not going to talk too much about this, if you are curious about the Time Warner Cable Comcast deal we talked about it on Sunday on TWIT and Om Malik was on it and he said that it is going to be great all the way through. He said that the regulators are not going to stop it.
Rene: And the regulators are the officers that are in charge.
Leo: Yes, the guy in charge of the FCC is a former cable company lobbyist. But furthermore he says that the argument that the government will buy is because there are no over-lapping customers it does not make any change in a competitive
Environment. But ofcourse it does because it makes Comcast……
Leo: And Comcast is already non-competitive because TWC would be the largest cable company because their ISPs have such dominance that I can guarantee you that cable prices and broadband prices will go up as they have been for ten years, without any oversight at all, so it is guaranteed to bring prices up on it.
Alex: In the place that it is overlapping is ofcourse is in the content.
Leo: Yes, yes.
Alex: So that is where it does really overlap and it is not just the subscribers for the play that Comcast is moving towards as well and I think it is definitely is, is if the FCC or the SCC or whoever is going to do this was aggressive about setting up what those rules are going to be that there is auditable bandwidth net neutrality till 2025. But actually it would not be that bad if they knew what Comcast was going to do that. (All presenters talking over each other)
Leo: How about 2018, if Comcast were when Comcast merged with NBC they made an agreement with the FCC that they would protect net neutrality and by the way they are not clearly doing but anyway. So nobody enforces anything it does not matter that would extend to Time Warner customers, they do not have a similar agreement. But 2018 is not so far off.
Alex: We pushed it on to 2025.
Leo: We ain’t going to do nothing good, dream on, you are smoking something.
Alex: I am saying if they did that it would be good deal, if they don’t do that….I am saying that
Alex: And that is a bad deal and I think that Apple who has the money to do it needs to really think about disrupting the market with money, you know they need to either start buying up something there or they need to start building their own networks.
Leo: And this is where I think that they are going to come up with a new Apple set top box, I presume their negotiations with the DWC are dead, but that would have been an interesting thing now a chance for Apple to make a court cutter play right!
Alex: Well they can and again they do not have to cover the whole of the US to make their point and you know that Google has started playing in that area but they do not have nearly that kind of cash. I think that Apple could so an enormous amount of damage in the key markets it would be very clear to the cable industry that if Apple keeps going down this path you know they are going to be done.
Leo: Here is what a deal with Time Warner would have done to Apple TV; it would have added live channels. So perhaps HPOBS live, Bloomberg, Disney ABC, and TSPN those are already but imagine locals but all of that is gone. I just got to think that kind of kills that. Rene what are you hearing about a new Apple TV?
Rene: That they have a fantastic software team led by some of the best IOS engineers who used to work on the phones in other departments. They are working on the Apple TV now. It sounds like a really fantastic software update. I am hoping that there will be some sort of SDK and that the SDK has been sitting there for a while and not being used. I am guessing there will definitely a game SDK but I do not know if it will go beyond games to tell Twitterific to run on your television set but absolutely the games channel might stay a part of their program. The big problem with all this is exactly what Steve Jobs talked about in his D interview was that dealing with carriers is a walk in the park compared to dealing with all the tiny fibers of cable companies and any deal with Time Warner or Comcast it is one country and it is not the global solution that Apple is looking to roll-out. Even with the iPhone they launched with AT&T sure but they also had deals in England, France and Germany and it is hard to see any solution come up with any solution that Cable pass through would work. The X-Box One has the HDMI pass through in the US but a pretty useless box outside of there. There is very little competition outside the US, there is no Amazon, does not exist in most countries, there is no Hoola in most countries, dealing with Television is a much, much harder problem than picking up a phone.
Leo: I just have to say that the rumors were that Apple had been talking to Time Warner since the middle of last year, but the rumor about in the Wall Street Journal was to make a set top for TWC.
Andy: I think that is a very 2002 sort of play, I really don’t I do not think that Apple would do it that way. Though, one of the things that Apple could really do in order to sell a lot more APPLE TV is in a way to help cable companies to who try to sell more Apple TVs for them is create something as simple as a very, very, simple authentication system for all of these individual channel apps. When you use HBO Go when you use the lifetime app and when you use the Turner classic movie app at some point you have to go through an app which you authenticate that you are a Verizon customer and you too have an Verizon website and the magic code there, and if Apple said that look we are going to have that authentication key that identifies the owner of this set top box- the Apple TV box some-one who is a subscriber of Verizon Fire or so with Comcast with this cable package and therefore as soon as they download the TCM MAP they get TCM on that device. It is the only way that Apple can do that would present a really appealing idea to these cable companies; because they do not say that they would love it you were to say rent 100 15 dollar a month cable boxes, but what they really want to do is to make sure that you will have cable subscription or maybe even a premium subscription and you will not cancel it. So if they simply create a system so that it is very, very easy for them to create all the services that cable companies want without the need to find all these shows in the nether realms, I think that they would really go for that. They have to do a very simple and efficient thing as opposed to something very big like creating a new hardware platform just for regional cable companies. Just like when I said, they cannot………every time there is an idea for an Apple product that would limit them to just this territory of the world. That does not come in as a non-starter but that means that is a rumor that it would downgrade----yes a good idea, yes it is even a product the Apple could do and could do well and maybe it is in the wheel-house but are interested in just selling to one or two countries. At least I do not think so.
Leo: So it was a bogus rumor then?
Rene: I think that Andy is exactly right there that when Apple dealt with the carriers their pitch was well we will deal with them by using per user and making data more accessible and much more and people want to use data and that is what happened people buy iPhones and they use so many apps and they use so many web browsers and that the average revenue just went up per carrier
To find some way to work with cable companies to say well we help your bottom but you have to give us this amount of freedom in these amounts of services.
Leo: I would think that the Journal had some pretty good resources with Apple because they seem to know what is going on. And here is what they wrote one day before the news that Comcast was buying Time Warner Cable: Apple’s approach is far more ambitious instead of asking for full current seasons of shows it is asking programmers for most recent five episodes of current season shows, it is kind of like Hoolu. Apple is also considering disabling fast forwarding on shows three days after they are here. It is unclear whether Apple does that directly with the Apple TV or deal with the cable operator to disable the box when released to the customers. One of the people said cable operators are interested in saving money by not having to invest in buying set top boxes if Apple were to sell the boxes directly to consumers. I have to think that this is all dead now.
Andy: I just find it hard to believe you know.
Rene: That includes the Comcast box right?
Leo: Well the Comcast box I have, it was from Motorola.
Rene: You know that they have extended that to a new box.
Leo: Oh they do have a new box; yes you are right I do not have it yet. The X10 or something. Right you are more up on this US cable stuff than I am.
Rene: It drives me so crazy.
Leo: You have to study it right?
Rene: Well, no cable companies make apps and now you have to have the service.
Of all the Canadian cable channels for iapps that got updated, they used to be great, you opened them, pressed an episode to watch and would last to four or five episodes, now you open it and it says you have to subscribe to one of these cable services none of which exist in the province that I live in, so I cannot get it. So you open it and yes this is a forced upgrade and you have to go to the store and upgrade, there is no upgrade available in the apps store and their attempt to control this is like that STARWARS line where you are squeezing your fist tighter and tighter and more people are leaking out of your grasp and you are incredibly consumer hostile. I have to think that Apple’s approach or at least Apple’s approach is not to compromise the consumer friendly solution to this.
Andy: Their big trouble is that people that are most tech savvy enough to want to cut cable and do want to watch TV in a totally different way are the people who know exactly how to get Gama Thrones illegally. The tools are going to get really trivially easy I am sure that there is a certain amount of Apple Campus Web Traffic that, there is Internet traffic that is devoted to illegally receiving a TV program. Just so that the team building this know that how easy it is that Apple TV is building a solution that is legal, easy and at the least as attractive.
Alex: One of the things that I agree and one of the things that I do that is successful and made it easy to very, very easy to buy is songs inexpensively and get them down to a point where like I was I do not know whether I want to do it legally and I think they definitely have to find a way to get video content that way. Because I think that it is easier right now in many ways to pirate it then to go through the process. I mean I do the same thing; I want to watch something on
HPO GO and then ask for a Comcast Login and I do not know I cannot Comcast Login and I look at their website, you know and every time and it is really (Presenters talking over each other)
Leo: I mean you do it once fine and then two weeks you have to do it again.
Alex: You update your Apple TV and that is the one they want. One thing that they have not figured out and I do not know why this is so difficult for Apple is they have not figured out how to update an Apple TV without losing all of my logins. It always asks would you like to update now----no, no because I actually want to watch a movie in the next half hour. You know it is……….
Leo: I do not have time, I do not have time.
Rene: See CC TV and remove airplay and put a giant pause icon up on the screen if you try to play it and now it is wonderful.
Don: I have not used my Apple TV more than once in the last six months because I have the Plex Connect on it now so I can use my Apple TV to access you know my own personal ripped DVDs and stuff full of my own media server in house and it is a dream and it is really, really nice. If only they would open up the SDK. I mean we have got WDDC coming up in June so and you know each year for the past two years everyone has said that Apple TV and SDK at the time, hopefully this year might be the time.
Alex: When we talk about live streaming for instance I mean an easy for Apple to start figuring that stuff out and making sure it would let people like us stream to the Apple TV like but basically right now if you have a pulse and you have a connection to You Tube you can now stream line to You Tube and I think that Apple making it available before there was a podcasters were there before video they could be a great way to test that process, and if they opened up that infrastructure a little bit, and also I just think that games on the Apple TV you know in all kinds of apps and everything else we want to use will be incredible opportunity, you know a lot of us would not care about anything else that they added to open up the SDK as they were talking about.
Leo: If they were to make it like the iPhone then we would buy apps and stuff.
Rene: Yes that is the big question. Would the control be how would that be in the SDK and how would that work and would you have fatter binaries so you do not buy the same game twice and you would just have a ten foot interface built, and there is a lot of iPhone controls for 100 dollars and you cannot expect people to buy IOS devices just to use their television I mean how many games does on one play (too much mumbling into microphone), yes if you have an iPhone.
Alex: Yes, you buy it on your iPhone. How many people that have an Apple TV that do not have an iPhone and I think the cross-section is like ten percent.
Andy: Yes, I do not know but it seems, I do not know it seems to me and it seems to me like unambitious crutch solution. Google has embraced that exact same kind of solution but that was in search of creating a TV device that can be sold for 30-35 bucks, and as a user of three different devices plugged into three different istream ports I got the Roccu 3, I got the Apple TV and I got the Chromecast. I love using the Roccu because most of it features can be operated through the remote control but when I want to pause something or skip back to hear something again I do not have to fumble to pick up my phone, I do not have to carefully tap on a sheet of differentiated glass buttons. I can have this thing in my hand and simply tap where I want to go to. That is the experience that every person having to spend 99 dollars on a TV Box as grown up having. That is the experience that most people end up having.
Leo: I feel like if Chromecast opened, if Chrome has its API opened, apparently they have released the SDK now and every app on my phone supports Chromecast, I think that is the experience that I am going to go for.
Rene: I think there are a lot of us, I think that
Alex: I think that………..
Leo: Till it does that it is not compelling, but imagine there is a Chromecast button on everything you do on your iPhone and you send it to your big screen TV, isn’t that compelling? I tried House of Cards on my X-Box One and on my Roccu and the quality was really poor and it did not seem to be getting better that is because I am on Comecast, thank-you very much but then I turned my Chromecast it immediately began working much, much better.
Rene: You have an airplay button on your iPhone, ready?
Leo: Yes obviously (presenters talking over each other) for one thing I am using Android, I cannot, and it would be cross-platform which I think is also very important. I feel that the real threat to Apple TV is Chromecast if it lives upto its potential, which it does not yet.
Alex: Like when I look at all the things that you can do with an Apple TV as a cheap computer because that is not what it really is. It is a very, very expensive computer. Again when I think about education, I do not necessarily want to provide a whole bunch of iPads for instance in a small school in Rwanda, I would love to be able to put those educational applications onto to it you know onto a little pox and distribute those things and have just screens and just be literally be springs and mices for me.
Leo: It is too Apple centric for me and the modern role is moving away from that and I know Apple like its ecosystem, to me that is what is going to kill iWatch and Apple TV, it is just too Apple.
Rene: It is two different kinds of customers. There is the customer who for the ease of use and Chromecast compatibility kills for whatever they get out of years of use.
Alex: And I think that people that are looking for ease of use is a much larger audience than for those that are looking for cross-compatibility.
Leo: We are at that moment in time where things might be shifting. Maybe. We shall see.
Andy: I just hope that Apple does not lose its sense of ambition, that if they go through every solution to every interface problem is oh we will just have them control everything through the iPhone, then that means that they are not really working on ways to master the wonderful 10 foot button on the interface. They are one of the few companies that can really crack this thing, so I do think that Apple do say that well it is easy just control it through you phone. We do not have to have an interface on this TV device. I think that would be a sort of a whip out.
Leo: We are going to take a break, come back with your picks my friends, our chow brought to you today by Fresh Books Cloud Accounting. If you are still using Microsoft Word or Excel to create your invoices, if you still have a shoebox of receipts to keep track of your expenses then it is time to save time and get paid faster with freshbooks it is the easiest way to send invoices, manage your expenses, track your time and hours. Freshbooks is a simple cloud accounting solution that is helping thousands of new entrepreneurs and small business owners like you save time, billing, get paid faster. Five million people use freshbooks, including me. I started using freshbooks ten years ago. I mean it has come a long ways since then and Eamon McArthur told me about them when I was working up in Canada and I had to bill Rodgers every month in Canadian dollars; it was just the worst right. FreshBooks solved it for me. Go to Freshbooks.com right now and try it free for 60 days, no credit card required, cancel anytime. Sign up is quick and painless and you can invoice like a pro and you can track invoices views and you can know if the client has looked at the invoice. I would love that- we did not get your invoice, well wait a minute you did I love that easily track expenses, and ofcourse when tax time comes your accountant will love you. Try if for free get freshbooks.com just mention MACBREAK WEEKLY. Look when you sign up they have got a great freshbook apps on and all that stuff is so good, it even works with the iPad, that is something new, these guys are great I haven’t seen that before. Get freshbooks.com. Time for our picks of the week,
let us start this off with Andy Ihnatko.
Andy: This is a really cool web app that I read about just the other day and unfortunately it is really, really good and it is called, if you go to Hemingwayapp.com, this is a style checker, it is an online app that uses the rules that creators of this app feel that Ernest Hemingway would have believed in. You paste in any text in here and in about half a second it will highlight anything that it considers to be not necessarily a problem but at least worth looking at. So this is what I stress is the first draft of a column that is going to be published tomorrow or Thursday and so has three or four or five areas of attention, right here it is already saying that this is readable on a grade nine level which it says is good, but everytime it sees a problem, like it hates adverbs and it will highlight every single adverb it finds and it says that I have 19 no 15 adverbs in this 1600 word column for four or fewer, yes. Right, any sense it marks in yellow it says that it is kind of hard to read, you might want to change that round, so for instance it is kind of interactive too so for instance I have got an Olympus breaking up and tie two parts of a sentence together if I want to, it certainly has no problem with that.
Leo: This is so graceful.
Andy: One sentence here it says that is just impossible to, really hard to read, definitely take a look at that. This is use of the passive voice I like it because I will say that it is important that if you are a writer to use a tool like only after you have developed a certain amount of confidence in what you are doing because it is very, very easy if you do not think that you are a good writer okay and say that I am going to make that I never use any adverbs in here, and I am going to make sure that this sentence here it says is too long, I am definitely going to cut that out. When infact I do not care how many you are going to quote Stephen King me at my adverbs are actually good and they reason why we have them in the language is so that we can use them. It is much like a gun.
Leo: Adverbs are very good and are helpfully shown in blue and you could really cut that helpfully out.
Andy: So the first time I used it, I have seen a lot of these kind of tools that are usually less of a scientific writing tool and more of I think that anybody that has a style different from mine is a jerk and I am going to write this piece of soft-ware that tells them that they are a jerk, if you write things differently from how I like things to be written. This is more like we have marked a few things up and take a look at it change it if you want, and if you do not want to change it then that is fine. I have seen a lot of these and a lot of them are not very good. This one as soon as I tried and also tried it on a first draft thing and I will be darned that it really flag most of the things that I would have flagged myself when I go through my second draft.
Leo: This is so much like the crap grammar detectors in Microsoft Word and stuff like that. This is really good.
Andy: It is web only for now but if you click the desk top version it will say would you pay five dollars for a desk top version of this and they are not saying that we have actually one for sale but they are trying to gauge interest. I do not want them to do a desktop version of this, what I really would like them to do is have them license this as a plugin or a built in tool. If Scrivener had this I would use it all the time, not as I write, but it is possible to actually write inside this window and can actually begin to compose with absolutely do not do that. Once you have finished your first draft paste it in here, see what it has to say and do not accept everything it tells you as gospel truth but it makes it very, very easy to quickly see that this is a very long sentence and here is a very long sentence and here is, every time I use an adverb it is blue, I see that all round it has about 18 blue words. I am going to say it, yes as much as I like adverbs perhaps I have just worn out the lettering on the ly on the keyboard on that paragraph, perhaps I should change it.
Leo: So I think this would be my daughter is writing college essays right now. I mean she has already been to college and transferring and I actually gave her some of this advice as she read it to me yesterday and I said that there is mavericks here and this sentence is complicated and you can use a shorter word, here and I just sent her a link, this is great, she is not going to listen to me but this is great.
Andy: I will repeat it again though, do not let your own writing style be defined by an algorithm, just once again all it is doing is highlighting the text for you to take a look at and if you read it again because my problem is that sometimes I put so much work into the end of this piece and getting all my facts straight and getting all my ideas in there and sometimes it feels like Oh many this really needs to be in the next twenty minutes and I really want to send it in right now as opposed to I need to re-read this and give it a careful edit. This is so easy to scroll through………
Leo: I have just told that with every word with a ly just look at it and you are really good.
Andy: It really is glaring when you see that is a really big block of red and that is one sentence you are saying, Okay perhaps I will take another look at it.
Leo: If you see a red highlight your sentences are so dense and complicated that your readers will get lost trying to find its meandering splitting lines.
Andy: I think that really smart people will be able to read this and so do not write that unless (presenters talking over each other)
Leo: To write a chapter like sentence so see and he was James Joyce so there you go. Thank you Andy that is Hemingway and Hemingwayapp.com. Don Mcallister your pick of the week?
Don: Right I hope that this has not been chosen before because I bought this about eighteen months ago at least I paid for it then but it has only arrived today the past few days, it is one of these the Galileo by Motrr. It is a little robotic stand, it has a tripod mount at the bottom, basically you slot your iPhone into it and let us see if this works it is, here we go 321 it is going to spin and take pictures.
Leo: Is it like a geeka pan is it stitch em?
Don: Yes it has a full 360 panoramic photograph and there is about a dozen applications that supports it so there is a phone application there is a musical sphere, which then enables you to once you have got the picture and it stitches it all together and you can see it on your iPhone and you can move it around and it will give you a full 360 up and down panoramic shots, it is really good.
Leo: This is from Motor MOTRR.com.
Don: Now this is the Bluetooth one because when I ordered it before the iPhone five was out and infact it was before the lightning connector was out (presenters talking over one another) you had the 30 pin connector and I ordered the 30 pin connector but when the lightning connector came out they came out with a Bluetooth version, right that has now finished that now and it is enhancing it, you do need to put it on a steady surface by the way, you do not hold it like this because it will probably walk away.
Leo: There are special deals on the 30 pin versions, 20 bucks cheaper it is 130 dollars and they have now at Motrr.com 150 dollars for the.
Don: Yes and they do a white case and black case and a blue case for the Bluetooth. I was really impressed with the build quality, the build quality is really, really nice and I have only played with it a couple times but it works fantastically well.
Leo: Awesome, Motrr.com Chat on Kickstarter what a show.
Don: It has finished the image although I was moving all over the place.
Leo: That is the giga pin such a cool product and for this price that is great. Those images have you posted any of those images.
Don: I haven’t but if you go to the sphere website because the sphere is software and also an app, there is some stuff that you can have a look on there.
Leo: Don Mcallister screencasts online everybody you must subscribe, there is great content on there always, do you have a code for us this week.
Don: I looked it up and there is fourteen day free trials for everybody so you can along and sign up and have a look at all the stuff you w
Leo: But for Macbreak viewers and anybody they tell? No that is great screencasts online 2 weeks right now to try it out, that is great. Thank-you Don.
Alex Lindsay is in DC, he may be in front of the Whitehouse but do not shoot him, he is no threat.
Alex: Well now that I am in DC I have something that is pertinent to DC and that is Secret.
Leo: I cannot stop playing with this damn thing.
Alex: It is so addictive, but I have to admit that I have not really posted on it. I personally believe that I should not put anything on the Internet; I do not wish to be publicized………
Leo: I dread the day that two weeks from now there is a Secret hack and everybody knows what you posted.
Alex: I have not posted anything and even if I did it would not be very willing to I would almost be willing to put it on Twitter anyway, you know that is all I ever post, but I admit that it is a lot of fun to watch, so as a spectator sport Secretly you can see it but what it basically does is it circles your contact and if other people are using Secret on your contacts, they can put up Secrets anonymously, you can comment on them anonymously and some of them are you know basic stuff, no but a lot of it can be fairly scandalous.
Leo: A lot of it seems to be like I am pooping whilst I am reading this. A very popular secret I do not know that I would want to that sure of that anymore.
Alex: I do not have a lot of people in my Secret circle who read while they are pooping, but there are ones that are, it happens and every once in a while you end up with the Secrets that are truly very personal, and sometimes they are….someone is watching the Lego Movie obviously…..
Leo: They key on this is that, there have been other apps like that whisper and the key on this that you know whether it is somebody you know or not. You give them your contact list and…
Alex: Right and they circle their friend or friend of a friend and
Leo: And then if there are enough likes on there and you can actually go national and you will see a state or a country. This is a friend of somebody in my contact List if I see just Fred and that is what is tantalizing about this is because if you see just friend then it somebody you know that posted that.
Alex: And man there have been some that are like Holy Smoke I cannot believe that is someone in my circles.
Leo: Mostly, it is jokes though right.
Alex: Most of it is a joke maybe ten percent of them that are really outlandish.
Leo: Here a friend wrote I really like her but I do not know whether she likes me.
Oh boy that is really revealing. But you know what you cannot stop reading it.
Alex; There is something that feels really personal about it, and anyway I do not know how long I will think that this is cool or whatever but it is definitely worth is as a social experiment, it is definitely worth checking out.
Leo: It just brings you back to those wonderful days of high school.
Alex: Yes it is like high school it is that all over again.
Andy: What do you think is the revenue model of an app that encourages you tell secrets?
Leo: Yes, I do not think there is a revenue model.
Andy: Let us say from devices that can be personally identified to you and you get a text message later on saying that yes we have figured out who you like but she does not like you back and if you do not want us to tell her that you like her it is eighty dollars.
Leo: I hope that it is not like that. It is a couple of guys from Google, three guys from Google and they really know IOS design, here is one I never eject disk, and the other thing is hearts and comments I think they are kind of fun too. You can read what others say about it.
Alex; When you are seeing a friend of a friend I believe you had a friend who hearted, you know it does not do that automatically. Someone has to heart it for you to read it before you see that.
Leo: And then you can tell, when you comment you are still anonymous do you get an avatar, the crown of the avatar is the person who made the comment and sometimes people talk back to the avatars so there will be conversations going on among the avatars in which they refer to each other as each other’s avatars, you know what do not download it whatever you do.
Alex: It is so addictive.
Don: It is only available in the US this one.
Leo: Interesting, by the way I forgot the top story of the week Apple has banned all flappy bird clones from the app store.
Rene: Just the name unfortunately.
Leo: Oh just the name.
Rene: You can play the game but just do not call it flappy in the title.
Leo: That is stupid, Rene Ritchie from imore.com your pick of the week.
Rene: It did let me down in Canada so at least it is a cross border secret. My pick of the week is this wonderful app development company called Panic, which I am sure everybody is familiar with. They make a fantastic web development program called CODA and also make one for the iPad called DIET CODA. Diet Coda just went to version 1.5 now it is an iPad app now a lot of people are used to typing and doing all sorts of crazy Ninja like things which are in the development environment. This is not like that, this is if you are in your iPad and you need to make a few changes to your websites, maybe update the code, change the CSS a little bit it does a lot of the things that a full blown Coda does them it does them in a full screen app, as a little more focused in the new editions are the local files drop box integration which is fantastic and of course they go to the trouble of making an HTML file version of the app file that you can play with on the web site to make sure that you actually like it before you go buy because I think it is 15 or 19 dollars so it is not your average 1 dollar app more like 20 dollars there you go. But I have used it when I have been out on the road when I have needed to make changes to a website that I screwed up before I went out on the road. I only found out when in transit, it works great, it text highlighting is fantastic, it has got the interface that you would expect from Panic and all of this works on an iPad so beautifully and it gives me a lot of faith in them in the foreseeable future.
Andy: I have got to say that any Panic app is worth buying just for the user experience interface; it is just so beautiful and so focused on task.
Leo: I have used their Coda for years, really like it. You got to love the name of Diet Coda. You get points for that too.
Rene: That is Steven Frank and Cable Sesser. That is perfect too.
Leo: Thank-you Rene of imore.com, crackberry.com and all the other dotcoms he owns them all and he is the king .coms. Nice to have here Rene we appreciate it, stay warm and survive the winter, spring is just months away. I say we have a Game of Thrones.
Rene: I will. I have nine months of winter and a couple of months of summer. I have never heard of any such thing as spring in Montreal.
Leo: I have never heard of spring in Montreal.
Rene: There is fall and there is trees.
Leo: Alex Lindsay how long are you going to be out there. I am in DC today, New York tomorrow, London over the weekend and LA Monday but I will be back by Tuesday for Macbreak.
Leo: I will bring the Mac Pro in then for you and I am serious that if they ever release the mac mini I want to be the guy to do the AV test and you can be the guy flipping the switch behind the scenes.
Alex: Yes I am ready.
Leo: I really liked that idea. Screencastonline.com that is for Don Mcallister, it always a pleasure and many tickets available macminia 17, visit geekcruises.com and you can join Don and his lovely wife Barbara and many experts as they travel around the British Isles. I keep calling you Alex, Andy Ihnatko is at the Chicago Sun Times where he is constantly creating wonderful prose that fits Hemingway’s style almost perfectly except for this occasional stray advert. Thank-you, for being here.
Andy: I am like Hemingway only without the reputation or the guns.
Leo: Oh by the way my pick of week is going to be reviewed on Security Now it is the Ryan Secret keyboard built for the iPhone five, Steve Gibson has one and I just got mine, and we will take a look at and then have a full review on “Before you buy” from Mr Steven Tiberius Gibson, that is coming up on Security Now. We do Macbreak weekly every Tuesday morning 11.00 am Pacific Time and should it be the afternoon for you guys, it would be and in the evening if you are in Britain, let us see it is 1900 UTC, Twit.tv please watch it live, we love if you can but if you don’t then we burn a copy to CD and ship it to Apple Headquarters every single day and you can get audio or even video today available from iTunes and wherever else netcasters post, I have been sending a lot of CDS lately…